My Big Fat Greek Wedding: A Romantic New Comedy

Hannah Bostwick and Amanda Houts 


"My Big Fat Greek Wedding Movie Poster". 2002. <>

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding Movie Poster”. 2002.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a modern day romantic comedy with similarities to Menander. The plot is serious about love and, unlike screwball comedy, there is very little spoof of the romantic process. The two people who fall in love, Toula and Ian, don’t have specific character differences that cause problems for their relationship but instead there are familial and cultural differences that cause the issues. Also in contrast to screwball comedy, the woman doesn’t initiate the relationship; Toula and Ian pursue each other equally. Although Menandrian plays may be most similar to screwball comedies, they also share similarities with romantic comedies, like My Big Fat Greek Wedding. In Dyskolos, for example, the humor is not focused on a spoof of the romantic process, but rather on the disagreeable temperament of the cranky old man. Similarly, in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Toula’s father, Gus, is a source of conflict and comedy.

While this film is a modern day romantic comedy it still has many aspects of Greek New Comedy, specifically, influences of Menander in the structure and content. Like in Menandrian comedy, and in contrast to Aristophanic Old Comedy, there is little obscenity in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. The plot is not episodic, but builds towards a single climax followed by a resolution. The movie is emotionally realistic, without fantastical elements, and it focuses on the bringing together of families–the formation of the oikos–like in Menandrian comedy.



Toula Portokalos is thirty, single, and Greek, working at her family’s restaurant. Her father desperately wants her to marry a Greek man and have lots of Greek babies. But when Toula falls in love with a non-Greek, Ian Miller, it will challenge her family’s traditions. As her big, fat Greek family struggles to accept him, Toula struggles to come to terms with and accept her heritage and family.

Photo Citations

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding Movie Poster”. 2002. <>